It’s not what you see: it’s the language you say it in.

Anna Hatzidaki, Mikel Santesteban, Manon Jones, Holly Branigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an eye-tracking experiment, we investigated the interplay between visual and linguistic information processing during time-telling, and how this is affected by speaking in a non-native language. We compared time-telling in Greek and English, which differ in time-telling word order (hour vs. minute mentioned first), by contrasting Greek-English bilinguals speaking in their L1-Greek or their L2-English, and English monolingual speakers. All three groups were faster when telling the time for digital than for analogue clocks, and when telling the time for the first half-hour than the second half-hour. Critically, first fixation and gaze duration analyses for the hour and minute regions showed a different pattern for Greek-English bilinguals when speaking in their L1 versus L2, with the latter resembling that of English monolinguals. Our results suggest that bilingual speakers' eye-movement programming was influenced by the type of time-telling utterance specific to the language of production currently in use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1233-1239
JournalLanguage, Cognition and Neuroscience
Issue number10
Early online date18 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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